Chef Carrie’s Top 10 Eggs of the Week

Tradition has it that Easter eggs represented a new lease of life – the tough outer shell representing Jesus’ tomb, and the hatching of chicks a representation of new life. Hence, Christians used Easter eggs as a way to remind themselves of Jesus’ ressurection. In Singapore though, the Easter egg tradition is not practiced, but at CheapTickets.sg we’re interested to bring the tradition a little differently… Singaporean-styled!

If you’re a foodie like me, you must definitely love eggs! Chef Carrie has picked out her top 10 favourite del-egg-table egg dishes from all around the world, in no particular order:

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1. Hong Kong: Portuguese Egg Tarts

Crispy on the outside and unbelievably soft on the inside, this heavenly Portuguese egg tart hails from Macau, an ex-Portuguese colony. It is said that these egg tarts are quite different from those in Portugal, although they may look similar. The Hong Kong take on these egg tarts are completely different as well! Coming fresh out of the oven, you can expect the best egg tarts along many street bakeries.

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Lord Stow’s Bakery, Macau

2. France: Croque Madame

A classic ham and cheese sandwich topped with a sunny-side up, the sandwich is named as such because the French thought that the egg resembled a lady’s hat. And yup, you got it – without the egg, the sandwich is called the Croque Monsieur. How glamorous, right?

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Au Petit Suisse, Paris

3. Taiwan: Oyster Omelette

Better known in Hokkien as oh-ah-jian­, this dish is popular in Singapore as well. The Taiwanese version is slightly different, topped up with specially concocted sweet and sour gravy. Oyster omelette is commonly found along the streets and at night markets, energizing you for even more shopping!

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Take your pick from Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), Taipei

4. Japan: Ajitsuke Tamago

If you think about it, it’s just a half-boiled egg. But what sets it apart from regular half-boiled eggs is that it’s perfectly marinated and cooked just long enough to keep the yolk runny and amazing. The perfect addition to any Japanese ramen, it’s no wonder that nobody can resist them!

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Carrie’s R-egg-omendation: Takano (多賀野), Tokyo

5. England: Scotch Eggs

Wrapped with minced sausage and bread crumbs, just wait till the yolk’s yellowy goodness oozes out and it’ll be gone in seconds.  A popular food item in bars, it goes well with beer (you might even forget the alcohol while gobbling the egg down).

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Harwood Arms, London

6. Spain: Tortilla

Don’t confuse the Mexican tortilla with this Spanish one! While we are familiar with the Mexican tortilla chips, Spanish tortilla consists of a thick egg omelette made with potatoes fried in olive oil. Don’t underestimate this typical-looking omelette, and try the best Spanish omelette Carrie reggommends!

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Meson de la Tortilla, Madrid

7. China: Century Eggs

A nice touch to regular porridge, this healthy preserved egg is perfect for the health-conscious – through its preservation it retains most of the vitamins and proteins, less the carbohydrates. Only for the acquired taste, the century egg is not for everybody, but Carrie approves.

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Bandao Jiu Lou (半島酒楼), Shanghai

8. New York: Eggs Benedict

Packed within an english muffin, ham, bacon, egg and hollandaise sauce, the origin of the Egg’s Benny is highly disputed. But who cares – as long as it’s good, we love it.

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Peacock Alley, New York City

9. Korea: Gyeran-bbang

Crispy, soft; savoury, sweet – all things good packed in a punch is what the gyeran-bbang (literally translated as egg bread) tastes in a bite. A common street snack among locals and tourists, queues at these stalls are always long but don’t worry, because they move fast.

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Get one freshly made from street stalls, all over Seoul

10. Italy: Frittata

A simple omelette enriched with vegetables, pasta, meat or cheese, the fluffy Frittata is a classic favourite for all, young or old. A bite into this savoury goodness just leaves you wanting more! Pair it with some butter chicken or Florentine steak for more Italian goodness.

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Carrie’s R-egg-ommendation: Trattoria Sostanza (Il Troia), Florence

How about you? What are your favourite unique egg dishes? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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Max out your European adventure with flights from $65

Living in Singapore it’s easy to make friends that eventually end up all over the world, and with wedding season approaching and invitations arriving my feet are getting itchy.

As we all know, weddings can end being just expensive for the attendees as the couple getting married themselves, especially when flights and hotels are involved. If you are already traveling to another continent for a wedding, it would be rude to miss the opportunity to visit a few other places whilst you were there…my solution to this problem has been solved at www.CheapTickets.sg with amazing flight deals around Europe. Budget airlines originate from Europe, and flights with them still remain competitively cheap.

Buy internal flights in Europe from only $65 (Barcelona- Rome) at www.CheapTickets.sg

Buy internal flights in Europe from only $65 (Barcelona- Rome) at www.CheapTickets.sg

Here is how I plan to spend 2 weeks in Europe:

8 May: Singapore- London. Flight cost: $456

3 nights in London to attend wedding number 1. Still time take a cruise down the Thames and try to spot The Queen.

12 May: London- Barcelona: Flight cost: $72

4 nights to relax and indulge in the vibrant Catalan capital of Barcelona. Shop up a storm in Las Ramblas, act like a culture vulture at La Sagrada Familia and party up a storm in the gothic quarter.

16 May: Barcelona- Rome: Flight cost: $65

Climax the holiday with a beautiful wedding in the town of Sorrento, just under a 3 hour drive from Rome airport. Take in the gourmet delights of Naples (Pizza anyone?) and not missing the historic Roman city of Pompeii

21 May: Rome- Singapore: Flight cost: $625

All 4 of these flights from Singapore to 3 amazing European cities costs only $1218. Even if you don’t have any special events to attend, this would still be my dream itinerary. To add to the excitement, May is one of the most pleasant times of the year to travel around Europe. The season is fairly dry and the temperatures in the early 20’s, relatively mild before the summer scorcher months.

For all your hotel needs you can also check out hotels with up to 75% discount. Get travelling!

CheapTickets.sg Flash hotel sale up to 75% off

CheapTickets.sg Flash hotel sale up to 75% off

Walk around a London wonderland- London is calling you this winter!

You’ve seen the Olympics, Wimbledon and the premiership in all its glory in the city of London but let me show you another winning side to one of my favourite cities, in the winter! Pre Christmas the city comes to life and light with markets and festivals all over the town, and post Christmas you will be treated to a New Year’s spectical- not just the infamous fireworks- the January sales!! (they ironically start on boxing day, the 26th December…)

My top tip for winter travel to London is to embrace the weather, it might be crisp and dry, raining or if you are lucky snowing- but the city is best seen from the outside so wrap up warm, and buy some good shoes (Oxford Street is a good place to start for this). The high street brands such as Aldo, Office and Footlocker are great places to start your serach.

Aerial view of London

An aerial view of London

Big ben at Midnight on New Years Eve

Watch the fireworks in London on New Year’s eve

London is a shopping hub during the winter with people starting their Christmas shopping in earnest from November. To cater for this, seasonal markets appear in some of London’s hot spots. Check out the market at London’s South Bank. Minutes’ walk from the London Eye and surrounded by restaurants, bars and the Royal Festival hall is this present purchasing gem. You can snap up the usual jewellery, toys and gifts such as candles whilst enjoying the atmosphere, why not take a ride on the carousel whilst tucking into a fresh gingerbread biscuit?

Carousel at London South Bank christmas marke

Hamley's Toy shop window

If you are bringing little ones or just a big kid check out the shop windows at Hamley’s

If you need a warm tipple stroll across the embankment bridge and grab a pint at the ‘The Sherlock Holmes’ pub at 10-11 Northumberland Street, a quaint olde world pub- check out the pictures on their website http://www.sherlockholmespub.com/.

Popular with urbanites and tourists alike are the outdoor skating rinks that pop up all over the city this time of year. My favourite is the rink at Somerset House. Steps away from Charing Cross station, this imposing venue makes for a delightful evening sailing across the ice. Opening from 16th November until 6th January and only closed on Christmas Day. You can pre book tickets here (Link: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Somerset-House-Ice-Rink-Ice-Skating-tickets/artist/26663?camefrom=CFC_UK_SH_WEBSITE)

Skating at Somerset house

Skating at Somerset house

As well as the obvious draw of the West End musicals, the Christmas period brings an extra dash of colour to showbiz in London, Panto! Learn your catch phrases before you go, or you will constantly be looking behind you during the show. This year’s highlight should be ‘Aladdin’ being held at the O2- staring Jon Lee from S Club 7 and Lily Savage- it’s a British institution not to be missed! You can search and book theatre tickets in advance for collection on the day at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

London Panto

London Panto- check out Aladdin at the O2

Getting around:  Unlike Singapore, the underground unfortunately doesn’t have the same pricing system. With single trips starting at SG$8.20 it’s recommended to buy an off peak travel card for SG$14. The cards give you access to all public transport in the city.  Off peak cards are valid from 9.30am so have a leisurely morning- maybe sampling the famous British fry up. There are many great cheap places to pick up a breakfast in the city, my city friends recommend ‘The Breakfast Club’ there are several around the city but the one in Soho will probably be the most convenient at 33 D’Arblay Street. For all locations visit http://www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com/locations/.

Airport to city: Ask ahead at your hotel if they offer a transfer service. Depending on where you hotel is taxis from Heathrow to the city can take up to 2 hours in traffic and cost around SG$100 even if you pre book. The Heathrow express train takes 15 minutes to Paddington station costing SG$64 per person so you might want to consider this is arriving at rush hour. Avoid black cabs- the price increases faster than Singapore!

Celebrate life in Barcelona

Have you ever been lucky enough to visit Europe? If not, where is the first place that you might want to visit? Whether you are revisiting or making the journey for the first time, the city of Barcelona in Spain is defiantly one of the best places to start. On the eastern coast of Spain, in the heart of the Catalonia region lays the urban paradise with a rich
gastronomic and cultural heritage.

Barcelona is located in the Catalan Region of Spain

Travelling to Barcelona couldn’t be easier. With 3 direct flights per week and multiple daily flights with short stop over’s in Dubai, Germany, London or Paris you can reach the city within 13 hours. CheapTickets.sg also has return flight tickets from $1170.

Getting around Barcelona is easily. The central sites and attractions are within walking distance of each other, and if it’s not too hot it’s the best way to get a true feel for the city and learn your way around. If you prefer to take public transport consider purchasing the Barcelona card: it allows you unlimited public transport and can be purchased at the airport- it even includes your transport to and from the city from the airport.

The city of Barcelona itself is like a museum, having won multiple awards for city design, you can see why when wondering the city. Imagine sipping sangria whilst looking onto the La Pedrera then wondering around the fabulous Sagrada Familia, both creations of the infamous architect Antonio Gaudi. Remarkably, work on the cathedral was started in 1882 but is not scheduled for completion in 2026.

If you are looking to spend your time eating, drinking and generally enjoying yourself, Barcelona is the place. Try authentic Catalan dishes at Fonda Gaig (Carrer Còrsega, 200)- we recommend ‘Grandmas cannelloni ‘ for a mouth watering effect. For a taste of home inspired delicacies try Dos Palillos (C/ Elisabets, 9), where Spanish tapas has been inspired by the delicate flavours of Asia. This restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays so plan ahead.

Unless you are visiting for a particular event or festival there is no ‘best’ time to visit the city. It can get very hot in the summer months of July and August but apart from then the weather is mild all year around- the wettest time of the year being in October.

Win 2 free return flights from Singapore to Barcelona with CheapTickets.sg. Enter the contest by sharing a picture that best shows you ‘Celebrating Life’ to stand that change of winning by 30th September 2012. Enter now.Celebrate life in Barcelona - Win Flights!